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In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

Hosted By: YIVO

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.

Jeffrey Veidlinger’s new book In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust draws upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, showing for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Join us for a discussion on this important new book featuring Jeffrey Veidlinger in conversation with Steven Zipperstein.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish History

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Teachers

Jeffrey Veidlinger

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies and Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust and the award-winning books The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage (2000), Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire (2009), and In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine (2013). He is the Editor of Going to the People: Jews and Ethnographic Impulse (2016). Professor Veidlinger is a former Vice-President of the Association for Jewish Studies, Associate Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, and a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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Professer Steven J. Zipperstein

Steven J. Zipperstein is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. He has also taught at universities in Russia, Poland, France, and Israel; for six years, he taught at Oxford University. For sixteen years he was Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford. He is the author and editor of eight books including The Jews of Odessa: A Cultural History (1986, winner of the Smilen Prize for the Outstanding book in Jewish history); Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha’am and the Origins of Zionism (1993, winner of the National Jewish Book Award); Imagining Russian Jewry (1999); and Rosenfeld’s Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing (2008, shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award in Biography, Autobiography and Memoir).  His work has been translated into Russian, Hebrew, and French. Zipperstein latest book, Pogrom:  Kishinev and the Tilt of History,will be published by Liveright/WW Norton in late March 2018. He has been awarded the Leviant Prize of the Modern Language Association, the Judah Magnes Gold Medal of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, and the Koret Prize for Outstanding Contributions to the American Jewish community.  He has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Yitzhak Rabin Institute in Tel Aviv, and has twice been a Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sciences Sociales.  In spring 2014, he was the first Jacob Kronhill Scholar at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, in New York. Zipperstein’s articles have appeared in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, the Washington Post, The New Republic, the Jewish Review of BooksChronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere.  He was editor of the journal Jewish Social Studies for twenty years, and the book series Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture for a quarter of a century.  Together with Anita Shapira, he is series editor of the Yale University Press/Leon Black Foundation Jewish Lives series. Zipperstein is the immediate past Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, in New York and is currently Chair of the Stanford History Department's Graduate Studies Committee.
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YIVO

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry and Yiddish language.
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